December 24

How to Avoid Winter Roofing Problems

Winter roofing problems are common in the Midwest. Ice, snow, and extreme temperature fluctuations can cause various roofing problems, from leaks to structural damage. It's important to understand the potential risks associated with winter weather so that you can take the necessary steps to protect your home and reduce the possibility of costly repairs. Below are some common winter roofing problems and tips for avoiding them. By learning about these issues and the preventative measures you can take, you can ensure that your home's roof remains safe and sound all winter.

Common Roofing Problems 

Ice Dams

Ice dams form when water from melted snow and ice sticks to the roof's warmer underlay and refreezes, creating a dam that backs up water. This overflow usually forms along the roof's edge. Moisture can back up under your shingles and penetrate roofing materials. In severe cases, ice dams can cause damage to your roof, attic, siding, and other materials. Proper attic insulation, an attic ventilation system, and a water-proofing shingle underlayment work together to protect against the formation of ice dams. 

Snow Damage 

In addition to clogging gutters and causing leaks, heavy snow accumulation can also put a great deal of stress on your roof. If the snow is too heavy, it can cause the roof to leak or even collapse, especially if your roof is relatively shallow. Fortunately, you can reduce the amount of snow accumulating on your roof by removing excess snowfall. Hiring a professional to remove heavy snow accumulation is the safest option.


Leaks occur when the roof's shingles, flashing, or other materials become damaged and allow water to enter your home. Various winter roofing problems, including accumulated snow, ice dams, and high winds, can cause leaks. Fortunately, leaks can often be avoided with regular maintenance and timely repairs. 

Structural Damage

Extreme winter weather can lead to roof damage caused by high winds and heavy snow or ice accumulation. High winds can cause roof damage by ripping shingles or bending roofing materials. Heavy snow and ice accumulation can put too much stress on the roof and cause severe damage or even a collapse. Fortunately, you can reduce the risk of roof damage during the winter by installing storm-proof shingles and ensuring your roof is ready for harsh winter conditions.

Tips to Avoid Winter Roofing Nightmares 

Keep Your Gutters Clean 

Snow and ice can quickly accumulate in gutters during the winter and freeze, causing leaks and clogging the downspouts. To prevent this, clean and clear your gutters regularly throughout the winter. You can also protect your gutters from heavy snowfall by installing a gutter guard to help keep snow from accumulating. 

Seal Cracks and Holes 

Aging roofs are prone to small leaks that can become more significant problems if ignored. Make sure to seal any cracks or holes in your roof to prevent leaks and water damage. Areas around skylights, chimneys, vents and roof valleys are most susceptible to leaks. Having your roof professionally inspected before winter weather arrives and having damaged caulking or flashing repaired will prevent minor problems from becoming significant problems. 

Inspect Your Roof for Structural Damage 

While regular inspections are essential year-round, inspecting your roof during the winter is especially important. Make sure to look for damage caused by ice dams, high winds, and heavy snowfall. If you notice any potential issues, address them as quickly as possible to prevent them from becoming more significant and costly problems. 

Insulate Your Attic 

It's vital to ensure your attic has adequate insulation. Insulating your attic will help prevent heat loss, decrease energy usage, and protect against structural damage caused by ice dams. Adequate insulation will reduce your home’s energy usage and save you money year-round. 

Severe Winter Weather Can Damage Your Roof

As you can see, winter weather can cause various roofing problems, from leaks to structural damage. Fortunately, you can reduce the risk of these problems by taking a few steps to prepare your roof for winter. By keeping your gutters clean, sealing cracks and holes, inspecting your roof for damage, and insulating your attic, you can significantly reduce the risk of winter roofing problems. Scheduling a professional roof inspection at least once a year is another excellent way to ensure your roof is ready for severe winter weather. 

Work With a Trusted Local Roofing Company

Since 1999, Brian Dawson Roofing has installed residential and commercial roofing systems throughout the greater St. Louis region. Because all of our work is done under warranty and fully insured, you'll have peace of mind knowing your new roof is dependable and long-lasting.

Our family-owned business can help you explore new roofing options, maintain an older roof, perform emergency repairs, and complete tear-offs and replacements. We offer quality service and free estimates.

Contact us online or at (636) 733-6435 to schedule a free inspection and consultation. Our experienced professionals will arrive on time, equipped with state-of-the-art equipment to detect leaks and other problems your roof may face. Our mission is to provide quality roofing services and top-notch customer service, all at a competitive price.


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